I’ve been teaching exercise to seniors – strength and motion, yoga and cadio, using chairs at local gyms for the past year. I want to expand on my own to assisted living centers. I would provide fitness assessment, equipment, music. How much to charge per class to the facility? Based on number of participants? size of facility?
Hi Robin. In my opinion, the size of the facility is less important to your fee than the number of participants. Whenever I offer a proposal to an organization or facility, I base my pricing on a ‘per person’ basis. It’s important though to keep in mind that most (if not all) assisted living facilities have a very limited budget (if any at all) for this type of program. To get your foot in the door, you may need to take less of a fee than you might expect on the gym side. That being said, if you have no idea what others in this area are charging, a good strategy in my opinion is to offer the facility a ‘choice’ of sever different types of programs/services, with the pricing escalating as the sophistication of the services/programs increase. This way, you will not be pricing yourself out of the market by presenting a “take it or leave it” single pricing, but instead will be offering the potential client the opportunity to match their budget with your pricing.
I hope that this helps.
as you did not have a profile at IDEA FitnessConnect, I have a few more questions. Have you already approached those facilities to see what their policy is like? Most have some instructors on staff and may have already rules for such classes.
A major issue for assisted living facilities is liability. The seniors going to local gyms are under the rules of a health club. When you teach at an assisted living facility, you are taking on a more expansive responsibility and they will probably screen you and need proof of insurance and certifications and such.
(As it so happens, I just went through this process myself because a client of 14 years moved into a nursing facility, and the family asked me to continue to train him. The facility required proof of certification, insurance, TB test, drug test and criminal background check. I will be able to use the facility equipment in the physical therapy facility.)
I would not make a proposal with charges until I understand all that will be required. LaRue made some good suggestions there.
I hope it will workout for you.
Thanks for the responses. I’m so glad I found a place to go with my questions.
I have a AAS in Physical Therapy Assistant from about 5 years ago, but never took my certification test. So I can’t advertise that I am a PTA because I am not. I have CPR, First Aid, hepatitis vaccine, would have to get TB vaccine for sure. I have 1 million in liability. I don’t have any other certifications at this time, but am working on it.
I live in OKC. Group exercise instructors make $15-$20 here at least at the YMCA. Personal trainers make $30-$70 here.
I interviewed a personal trainer at an AL center to find out what I needed to start my company. He said they have outside vendors there that charge $20/class in the pool. He is a retired geologist and teaches chair exercise there but only has about 4 people out of maybe 200 residents. They have all levels of care from independent llving to memory care. I think that participation rate is very low. He did bring me in to teach chair yoga and I taught 2 classes at $30/class, and the facility told him no more outside vendors. He said he budgeted for outside vendors for 2013 and hopes to bring me back.
I know of one other person offing classes like mine, called and of course she wont tell me what she charges. I know she pays instuctors $25/class. She wants to get out of classes and do more personal training of residents.
My husband thinks I can charge $35/5 people and $3 for ea additional for a smaller facitilty and $50/10 people + $2 for ea additional person at larger facilities. The really large facilities I called have activity directors that lead classed M-F. So I am looking at offering my services to smaller AL centers.
I did have a small memory care facility that wanted a class. The activity director thought $35 per class was doable, then when she checked, the facility was not willing to pay that.
So other than the above, I have not pounded the payment yet offering my services. Budgets for 2013 are being done now so i need to get out there with my pricing structure now. I will offer a free demo class with food and flyers to advertise.
Sorry to ramble so. Any suggestions? I think a base rate is good so i’m not out for my time and travel.
Unfortunately the real answer is the obvious one, you can only charge what people are willing to pay. You have to consider how the facility is funded. As LaRue mentioned, not many facilities have excess funding for these types of programs. I think this would be especially true for state or federally funded assisted living.
I personally would not feel comfortable building up a large class unless you know that emergency staff will be available (nurses, etc.) in the case of an emergency. I’m sure in most assisted living facilities this would be possible, but this is definitely something to consider. Working with older adults presents higher risks of complications than working with young, healthy participants.
At the end of the day, I think you need to figure out what the potential benefits of a fitness program are for those in assisted living. If families, potential participants, or the facilities see value in it, they will pay. If not, take your expertise elsewhere to something more profitable, if that is what’s important to you.